Memento and License Plate Number

Memento is a movie directed by Christopher Nolan, the story is based on the short story Memento Mori by his brother Johnathan Nolan. Memento is a story about a man who loses the ability to make new memories after he witnesses his wife being raped and murdered. The film is told in two different stories: one is in black and white and told chronologically, and the other is in color and told backwards. Leonard Shelby wakes up one night and notices his wife is missing from their bed.
He hears grumbling and moaning coming from the bathroom. He proceeds to the bedroom loset and retrieves a pistol; he loads it and walks toward the bathroom. He barges into the bathroom where two guys are raping his wife. He shoots one and the other knocks him into the bathroom mirror knocking him onto the ground. Causing him to have a head injury, where he cannot make any new memories. The last thing he remembers is lying on the ground next to his wife who is wrapped in a shower curtain suffocating.
Though his memory problem obstructs his ability to endure lengthy activities, Leonard manages to focus his energies on searching for the second assailant and avenging his wife’s rape and murder, reminding himself of important acts by carrying a police file of the crime, taking notes and pictures, and even going so far as to tattoo the most vital details about his mission throughout his body. Along the way, a couple of characters take advantage of his revengeful and forgetful state of mind, deceiving Leonard into murdering several people other than his wife’s assailant.

Leonard wakes up in a motel room at the Discount Inn, stunned and muddled as to why he is there. The phone rings and Leonard answers. He starts telling the unknown caller about his circumstance, anterograde amnesia, which means he cannot create new memories. Anterograde amnesia is defined as “a selective memory deficit, resulting from brain injury, in which the individual is severely impaired on learning new information” (“Memory Loss & the Brain”). He then tells the caller that he had become an insurance investigator and was assigned to Sammy Jenkins.
Sammy had anterograde amnesia, and Leonard was assigned to determine if Sammy’s condition was covered under their insurance policy. He tells the caller in order to deal with this circumstance a person must have a system of notes, and the drive to use them. Leonard says he has the motivation that Sammy lacked, we then ee tattooed on Leonard’s chest “John G. raped and killed your wife” (Memento). He continues to tell the caller that through testing Sammy was not covered under his insurance policy because his circumstance was psychological not physical.
The caller then identifies himself as Officer Gammell, he tells Leonard the second man from the night of the attack is Jimmy Grantz. Officer Gammell then tells Leonard he has set up a meeting for him and Jimmy. Leonard then heads to the lobby to meet the officer. Officer Gammell tells Leonard to call him Teddy because he is under cover. Teddy gives Leonard directions to an abandoned building outside of town. Leonard goes to the building and waits for Jimmy. Jimmy pulls up and walks inside Jimmy with a tire iron. Leonard then puts Jimmy’s clothes on and dresses Jimmy in his old clothes.
Leonard then drags Jimmy down the stairs and he hears Jimmy whisper “Sammy. ” Leonard then begins to think how could Jimmy know Sammy? He then realizes there is no way he could be the second attacker. Teddy then pulls up outside and Leonard runs out and tells him to hurry inside someone is wounded. Once inside Leonard turns on Teddy, telling him he sent him to kill the wrong guy. Teddy tries to persuade Leonard that Jimmy was his wife’s killer. Finally Teddy confesses that Jimmy Grantz was Just a drug dealer who had nothing to do with the attack on his wife.
Teddy then tells Leonard his wife endured the attack and that the story of Sammy Jenkins was truly about himself. Teddy also tells Leonard that he was the officer that investigated the attack on his wife. “He says he believed him about the second attacker and he helped him track down and kill the real John G. over a year ago. Teddy claims that he took a picture of a happy Leonard right after the second attacker was dead” (Memento). Leonard does not recollect the murder at all. Before Leonard can forget what Teddy is telling him he burns the picture that teddy gave him.
He then writes “don’t believe his lies” on the back of Teddy’s picture (Memento). He also writes down Teddy’s license plate number as John G. ‘s license plate number. He writes himself a note to get the license plate number tattooed on him. Setting himself up to kill Teddy as the next John G. Leonard then tosses Teddys keys into the bushes, gets into Jimmy’s Jaguar and drives off. While driving he sees a tattoo parlor so he stops and goes inside and roceeds to get the license plate tattooed on him.
Teddy sees the Jaguar outside so he comes in and suggests that Leonard get out of town and put new clothes on because people are “starting to ask questions” (Memento). Leonard looks at Teddys picture in his pocket and sees “don’t believe his lies” so he escapes out of the back window and drives away. He finds a coaster in Jimmy’s coat pocket that says meet me at Ferdys bar, and the note is from a Natalie. So he goes to the bar and finds Natalie, he tells her about his condition and after a test she believes him. Natalie takes Leonard to her home and tells him he can stay with her.
Natalie tricks Leonard into going after a man named Dodd who Natalie says has been abusing her. Leonard goes to meet Dodd to beat him up for Natalie, but when he gets into his car Teddy is waiting for him and he tries to warn Leonard about Natalie but sees the note on the back of Teddys picture so he does not believe him. Leonard goes to meet Dodd at his hotel room and beats him up and ties his hands he then throws him in the closet and calls Teddy for help. Teddy comes to Dodd’s hotel room and they take Dodd to a ecluded area and convince him to leave town.
Leonard goes back to Natalie’s and she says she will trace the license plate number for him because he took care of Dodd for her. She gives him the information and directions to an abandoned building outside of town. Leonard puts the clues together that Teddy must be John G. and calls him to meet him at the building where Jimmy Grantz was killed a couple of days earlier. Leonard then shoots Teddy in the head.

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